Ron’s Single Biggest Mistake

Written by Dani Lemberger

I got into Scientology at the COSMOD Mission, San Francisco, in April 1980. Didn’t take me long to become an avid Scientologist. I had huge wins on realizing I am an immortal spirit and on going exterior on TR0. I then did the NED Auditor Course, audited another student and thenknew that this is the Tech to set man free. I knew we had, in Scientology, at long last, the road to individual freedom. A Cleared Planet became my goal.

But then a worry crept in. What will happen when Ron dies, how will this organization continue? What will prevent it from falling apart or splintering?

I was 28 years old, a skeptic with lots of chutzpa. So I wrote Ron a letter (the old-timers will remember S.O. #1 – “You can always write to Ron.”) I had the audacity to ask Ron, “Sir, what happens when you die?” I worded it a bit different. I shared my concern that all great religions in history splintered after the founder died. “So what will happen to Scn when you move on?”

I soon received a letter saying, “We have competent managers, I trust them and they will lead us on. Thank you for caring. Love, Ron.” The signature at the bottom was stamped in green ink. Obviously not signed by Ron and I suspected, not even written by Ron. I was disappointed. I was naïve to think Ron personally would respond. I realized he probably never saw my letter, had someone handling his mail. I felt misled for the first time in Scn.

In 1980, we were confident that by 2000 we’d have a Cleared Planet. And here we are, thirty-three years later, and further away from a Cleared Planet today than we were in 1980. Scientology has shrunk, the Church taken over by a lunatic and his minions. “How can a Scientologist become an evil tyrant?’ I do not know. “How come thousands of highly intelligent Scientologists, many of them high up on the Bridge, are willing to become slaves?” defies me. Yet there it is, we are at each other’s throat and “A Cleared Planet” has become a pathetic joke.

How come we have sunk to such a sorry state?

Here’s my analysis of Ron’s single biggest mistake:

Ron Hubbard did not understand democracy. In fact, he abhorred it. He saw the US and the world after WWII. Saw the aberrated masses electing corrupt “leaders”. Ron witnessed disaster, nuclear bombs, poverty and suffering. He reached the conclusion “democracy” was to blame: ignorant masses electing madmen, guised as “presidents” and “prime ministers”, to destroy their lives.

Here are a few excerpts:

1. HCOPL 7 Feb 1965, KSW 1: “And I don’t see that popular measures, … and democracy have done anything for man but push him further into the mud.” … “The common denominator of a group is the reactive bank.”

But then Ron does offer hope: “Thus each of us can rise above the domination of the bank and then, as a group of freed beings, achieve freedom and reason.”

Yet Ron offers no formula, how does “a group of freed beings” govern itself?

2. Just a week later, in HCOPL 13 FEBRUARY 1965, POLITICS, Ron wrote the following: “Now and then you hear me speak derisively of governments and ideologies–including democracy. … What political system could work amongst very aberrated people? … The basic building block of any political system is the individual. 

“That rules out any system which witch hunts, freezes opportunity, or suppresses the right to improve by any workable system or suppresses a workable system.

“Watching the US and Australia … proves that democracy, applied to and used by aberrated people, is far from an ideal activity and is only aberrated democracy.

“Therefore a democracy is a collective-think of reactive banks. Popular opinion is bank opinion. Any human group is likely to elect only those who will kill them. That’s concluded from actual 1950 experiments.

“Believe in the individual being and work with him and you will find he is basically good. Work only with a group and you work with collective-think which is basically bank and therefore evil.

“Scientology gives us our first chance to have a real democracy.

“So we can conclude on actual evidence that the first true democracy will emerge when we have freed each individual of the more vicious reactive impulses. Such beings can reason, can agree on decent and practical measures and be depended upon to evolve beneficial measures.”

Words of wisdom, no doubt. But again, Ron offers no recipe for democracy within Scientology even “when we have freed each individual …”

3. HCOPL 2 NOVEMBER 1970THE THEORY OF SCIENTOLOGY ORGANIZATIONS: “A totally democratic group has a bad name in Dianetics and Scientology despite all this talk of agreement. …If you ever have occasion to elect a leader for your group, don’t be “democratic” about it. Compare record as follows: Take a person who is a good auditor, not just says he is. … Take the person who can grant beingness to others. And look at the relative serenity and efficiency of any past command he may have had. So always elect temporarily and reserve the right of recall. If his first action is to fire people, recall him at once and find another leader. If the organization prospers, keep him and confirm the election by a second one. If the abundance of the organization sags in a month or so, recall and find another.”

Here Ron really gives us directions how to go about electing a leader. “If you ever … elect a leader for your group … “, “Compare …”, “Take a person …”, “And look at …”, “So always elect temporarily and reserve …“, “… recall him at once and find …”. Lots of sound advice but who is it addressed at? Who is the person or entity that will perform the electing, comparing, looking, reserving, recalling and finding? Lots of verbs and actions but it doesn’t say who will do all of this.

Elsewhere, Ron talks of a “benign monarch.” Let some kind, caring, all-knowing, ‘Super Thetan’ rule the masses and prod them along like a shepherd handles his sheep or a loving parent to his children. This too is hardly workable, since it does not answer who chooses the do-good monarch, how does one measure the goodness and most important, how does one prevent the benign deteriorating into malevolent.

Ron failed to establish who will own the property and materials of the Church when he’s gone. He turned it over to RTC but who does RTC belong to? He attempted to create a complex structure with some “checks and balances” yet this collapsed instantly when he moved off power. The exact same thing he warned of in “Responsibilities of Leaders”. Of Simon Bolivar Ron says, “He glowed things right. Pitifully, it was his undoing that he could. Until he no longer could. … It never occurred to do more than personally magnetize things into being right and victorious.”

Same with Ron – with him at the helm, structure was of little consequence. He was the stable datum and ultimately it all went back to him, any question, any decision. Ron himself held full responsibility for the survival of the organization.

With Ron gone, in 1980 or 1982 or 1986, what happened? Confusion, pandemonium, chaos. Lots of bright guys with fancy titles but who do they ultimately report to? There was no stable datum of who runs the show. Who, from then on out, owns the Scientology materials and property and would elect and supervise the Scientology organizations and executives.

Under such circumstances, what typically occurs? People look for someone who has the audacity to present himself as “the new stable datum”. Someone who dares say, “I know what’s going on, I can take responsibility, I will care for you.” And they all fall at his feet because he promises he will take care of them. History has taught us that dictators come to power only after periods of confusion, violence and much suffering.

In Scientology circa 1982, with Ron gone though still alive, witness the rise of Miscavige. To this day, DM is still telling the flock he knows what he’s doing, he will take care, he will deliver them to the Promised Land. They needed a ruler and they got one. Then he became a ruthless dictator, but they begged him to be that, and he obliged.

Ron, a once-in-history genius, should have foreseen this. If he did, he would have established the Church as a “membership organization”, like we are seeing now, for the first time ever in Scientology’s history.

This is similar to a democracy, but not quite, let’s call it a “member-cracy”. “Demos” in Greek is people, “kratia” is rule, govern. So we are forming organizations ruled by the members.

This point Ron missed. Be it the Church or HASI, RTC or CSI, WDC or ASI or any body he created. Ron did not provide a simple and open answer as to who controls it, who owns it? I have not yet found a “policy” answering this question, who does it belong to? Who has final say? Ron talks of a “goal maker”, good, but who is he? Who elects him? What happens when the founder, the self-elected original goal maker, dies? I know of no answer from Ron.

In the long term, history proves that only democratic nations are successful. And we see that gradually and painfully, the world around us is becoming democratic. All wars were fought by dictators bent on holding on to power, thus inventing enemies and going to war. Miscavige, how terrible to state, is no different from Hitler, Stalin, Bashar El-Assad, Kim Jong-un, Saddam Hussein, Fidel Castro – he has to invent “enemies of the people” so as to maintain his stranglehold over his subjects.

In business, the largest and most successful corporations are publicly traded companies, owned by thousands of shareholders. Why do they “go public”? To raise money is the secondary reason. They go public so as to have thousands of people take responsibility and so as to separate the corporation from the original founder. Henry Ford died and Ford still makes cars. Steve Jobs is dead but Apple thrives.

So we, loyal Scientologists, are committed to right this by becoming a member-cracy. The members rule. Accordingly, Scientologists around the world are beginning to take responsibility and act. In Israel, The Association of Free Scientologists Israel (AFSI) has recently been formed. Internationally, a new group is being formed by Lana Mitchell and several associates. Both groups are voluntary, membership is open to all and the governing will be conducted by the members themselves, via elected officials.

Our newly-formed associations can only succeed if we have members who are smart, able, ethical, endowed with high ARC and operating with ever-increasing KRC. In K-R-C, most important is the R, responsibility. If the members don’t really control it, it will fail after a short while. So we want select individuals who desire KRC. (Please read HCOPL 18 Feb 1972, Exec Series 8, THE TOP TRIANGLE, in Management Series Vol. 2, pg 232).

In HCOPL 2 Nov 1970, RESPONSIBILITY, OEC Vol. 1, pg 727 (also in the Ethics book, pg 47), Ron says, “The power of choice is still senior to responsibility.” A person chooses to be responsible, it cannot be imposed. He assumes it or elects it for himself. In a democracy, you cannot even force them to vote, they decide if they want to go vote.

Members, like people in a democratic country, or shareholders of a corporation, have the final say and the ultimate responsibility. Nothing else works. And they learn slowly from past mistakes and I do believe the world is getting better, thanks to democracy.

Scientology will expand, and will become broadly acceptable, only when practiced by individual auditors and groups dedicated to Standard Tech and servicing their public. These practitioners will cooperate and will forward their common goals only by means of free, open, voluntary associations governed by the members themselves.

Democracy (or should we call it member-cracy?) is new to Scientology. We are making history and winning daily. Ron may have made a small mistake. It is by far out-balanced by the precious Tech he did give us. Let us be bold, smart, dedicated and responsible by building the organizations necessary to make Ron’s Tech available to Mankind.

1 thought on “Ron’s Single Biggest Mistake”

  1. Nice article, Dany !!!
    Very few scientologists dare to find a fault with LRH or point to any possible mistake he might have done. It takes some REALLY INDEPENDENT mind to do that. The mark of a true individual is his power of choice over data, his capacity for independent judgement. To be able to see where a Leader erred or a Genius stumbled,
    w/out diminishing his accomplishments , is to be a FREE man ; and it takes more courage and strenght than it is normaly realized. It tells me you are ALIVE and very much yourself. I really like that. That’s what we need ; BOLD opinionated people who can see “beyond” and at the same time are able to follow the exact route laid out and get others to follow it cause he KNOWS , is the proven workabke way to travel on. I don’t care for perfect leaders, I only care that they be EFFECTIVE ENOUGH.

    I hope I can meet you some day. Keep the good work.


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